Spanish Tortilla

Classic Spanish tortilla, or a Spanish potato omelette, with the emphasis on potato. Thinly sliced potatoes, fried in olive oil, layered in a pan, covered with beaten eggs, and cooked.

Photography Credit:Elise Bauer

To a native Californian like myself, a “tortilla” is round and flat, and comes in only two styles, flour and corn.

So the concept that a tortilla could also be a thick potato omelette, took some getting used to. But that is the difference between a Spanish tortilla and a Mexican tortilla.

The Spanish version is made by frying thinly sliced potatoes in extra virgin olive oil, then layering those slices in a pan (preferably a cast iron frying pan), covering with beaten eggs, and cooking until set.

It’s perfect for a weeknight meal, and only requires a few ingredients which you likely have in your pantry. It’s good warm, room temperature, or cold, and makes for great leftovers.

At this writing I’ve yet to visit Spain, but if you have, and you recall a favorite version of the Spanish tortilla, please let us know about it in the comments. For those of you for whom this concept is entirely new, I do encourage you to try this recipe, I think you’ll like it!

Spanish Tortilla Recipe

Waxy potatoes such as Yukon Golds or red-skinned new potatoes work well in this dish. Avoid using russets.

This recipe is meant for a 9 inch diameter pan. If your pan is larger, add a couple eggs. If your pan is a full 12 inches, add 4 eggs, another potato and another green onion.


  • 6 eggs, beaten
  • 2 Yukon Gold potatoes
  • 2-3 green onions (or 1/4 cup chopped yellow onion), chopped up to the light green parts
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt


1 Slice potatoes: Slice the potatoes (peeled or unpeeled) into disks between 1/4 and 1/8 inch wide. (Helps to use a mandoline for this purpose.)

2 Fry potato slices in batches: Pour the olive oil into a cast-iron or hard anodized aluminum pan (a pan that will be able to take the heat of a broiler in the oven) and heat it over medium-high heat. When it is hot enough to sizzle the potatoes as soon as they hit the oil – test with an end piece – start frying them in one layer.

Working in batches, fry until they are lightly browned, not crispy. When they are done, let the potatoes dry on a paper towel and salt them well. Keep frying until they are all cooked.

3 Sauté onions, arrange fried potato slices on top: When the potatoes are all done, pour off all but a tablespoon of the oil and sauté the onions. When the onions are just starting to crisp, turn off the heat.

Arrange the onions so they are evenly covering the bottom of the pan.

Arrange the potatoes on top of the onions in a scalloped pattern.

4 Add beaten eggs: Return the heat to medium, and add the beaten eggs. Add a generous pinch of salt. Shake the pan to get the eggs to coat everything in the pan.

Let this cook until you see the edges of the tortilla begin to set, then put the pan under the broiler.

5 Broil to brown the top: Cook it under the broiler for 5 minutes, or until the top browns. (If you prefer to finish the tortilla on the stovetop instead of the broiler, slide the tortilla out of the pan onto a plate. Then invert the pan over the plate, and flip the whole thing, pan and plate so that the tortilla falls back into the pan, less-cooked side down.)

Remove the pan and set it to cool for at least 5 minutes. (Be careful, the handle is hot! Drape with a potholder.)

6 Cut into wedges and serve. It’s also good at room temperature, and will keep a couple days in the fridge.

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  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • ½ red pepper, seeds removed, finely chopped
  • 225g/8oz peeled potatoes, cut into 1cm/½in slices
  • 4 large free-range eggs
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped parsley
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a small heavy-based frying pan that's about 20cm/8in in diameter. Add the onion and fry for 5 minutes.

Add the pepper and potatoes and season with salt and pepper. Cover with a lid and gently cook over a low heat for about 15–20 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft and the potatoes are cooked through. Transfer to a bowl and wipe the pan clean.

Beat the eggs in a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Pour the eggs into the bowl with the cooked mixture.

Add the remaining oil to the pan. Carefully pour in the egg mixture and sprinkle with parsley. Cook on a medium heat until the sides and top have just set and the base is lightly golden-brown. When the middle is set, carefully slide onto a plate.

Put the pan on top of the omelette and flip over to cook the other side for 3–4 minutes, or until golden-brown all over and just cooked through. Slide onto a plate to serve.

Authentic Spanish Tortilla Recipe: What is Tortilla Espanola?

Spanish Tortilla, largely known as Tortilla Espanola in Spain, is one of the most popular national dishes in the country. The recipe is so simple&mdashit can be cooked in olive oil using pretty much just eggs, potatoes and onions.

Regardless of how simple it is, Tortilla Espanola is a perfectly dense dish which will leave your taste buds extra satisfied.

It is often served as a tapa (like our Spanish Patatas Bravas recipe), but you can devour this incredible dish at any time of the day! Moreover, you can even make Tortilla Espanola ahead of time as it stays better at room temperature.

With our simple-to-follow recipe instructions and a little technique, this authentic Spanish tortilla recipe will turn out to be one of the tastiest yet basic meals you tried till now.

  • 3 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup precooked diced red potatoes, (see Tip)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 6 large eggs
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 1/2 cup shredded Manchego, or Jack cheese
  • 3 cups baby spinach, roughly chopped
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a medium nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring, until translucent, 3 to 4 minutes. Add potatoes, thyme and paprika and cook for 2 minutes more.

Lightly whisk eggs and egg whites in a large bowl. Gently stir the potato mixture into the eggs along with cheese, spinach, salt and pepper until combined. Wipe the pan clean add the remaining 1 teaspoon oil and heat over medium heat. Pour in the egg mixture, cover and cook until the edges are set and the bottom is browned, 4 to 5 minutes (it will still be moist in the center).

To flip the tortilla, run a spatula gently around the edges to loosen them. Invert a large plate over the pan and turn out the tortilla onto it. Slide the tortilla back into the pan and continue cooking until completely set in the middle, 3 to 6 minutes. Serve warm or cold.

Make Ahead Tip: Store airtight in the refrigerator for up to 1 day.

Tip: Look for precooked diced potatoes in the refrigerated section of most supermarket produce departments.

Tortilla de Patatas Recipe: This Easy Spanish Frittata Recipe Has Just 3 Ingredients by 30Seconds Food

Tortilla de Patatas is a Spanish frittata made with potatoes, eggs and onion. That's it. Serve this easy frittata recipe as an appetizer or with a salad for lunch, brunch or a light dinner.

Cuisine: Spanish
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 21 to 28 minutes
Total Time: 31 to 38 minutes

Servings: 6


  • 1/4 cup olive oil plus 1 tablespoon, divided (try Spanish olive oil)
  • 5 large potatoes, shredded or diced
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 6 eggs

Here's how to make it:

  1. Heat the olive oil in a skillet. When hot, add the potatoes and onion. Season with sea salt and pepper. Cover and cook until soft, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the heat, pour into a large bowl and allow to cool.
  2. When cool, add the eggs to the potatoes. Mix well. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in the skillet. Add the potato and egg mixture and cook until it begins to brown on the bottom, about 6 to 8 minutes.
  3. Carefully put a plate over the skillet and invert onto a plate. Sprinkle with more salt and pepper.

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Recipe Summary

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for serving
  • 1 pound Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and sliced inch thick
  • 1 red bell pepper (ribs and seeds removed), thinly sliced
  • 1 medium onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 8 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley, plus more for garnish
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a medium ovenproof nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium. Add potatoes, bell pepper, and onion season with salt and pepper (skillet will be very full). Cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are crisp-tender, 14 to 16 minutes. Uncover, and cook off excess liquid, 1 to 2 minutes.

In a bowl, whisk together eggs, parsley, hot sauce, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and teaspoon pepper. Pour egg mixture over vegetables in skillet, and stir to distribute evenly. With the back of a spatula, press down on vegetables so they lay flat and are submerged.

Bake until tortilla is set, 12 to 16 minutes. To unmold, run a rubber spatula around edge of skillet to release tortilla invert onto a serving plate. Drizzle tortilla with oil garnish with parsley.

Mini Spanish Tortilla with Zucchini

How is a Spanish tortilla different from, you know, a regular tortilla? They&rsquore actually two completely different foods. The first, from Spain, is basically a giant omelet made with potatoes (um, yum). And the tortillas you eat with tacos&hellipwell, they&rsquore Mexican, and basically a vehicle for guac. So it&rsquos time you tried this mini Spanish tortilla with zucchini. It&rsquos perfectly portioned into one serving, so you can eat the whole thing yourself, and it&rsquos perfect for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons grated Manchego cheese

1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.

2. In a medium pot, cover the potato with at least 1 inch of water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Boil until the potato is fork-tender, 22 to 25 minutes.

3. Drain the potato, slice it into thin rounds and set aside.

4. Heat the olive oil in a small, oven-safe skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and zucchini season with salt and pepper. Sauté until tender, about 4 minutes.

5. Add the potato slices and sauté until all the veggies are lightly browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Spread the vegetables into an even layer in the base of the pan. Remove the skillet from the heat.

6. Whisk the eggs together in a medium bowl and pour them over the vegetables. Top the eggs with the cheese.

7. Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake until the eggs are set and the potato and zucchini slices on the top are golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes.

Why Spanish Tortilla is Our Favorite Staple

In every town in every part of Spain we traveled last spring, there was always tortilla espanola, or Spanish tortilla.

There’s a very good reason for this. This little frittata-like dish is a delicious and satisfying food made from potatoes and eggs cooked in ample olive oil.

Enjoyed at all times of the day, Spanish tortilla is a main course, a snack, a sandwich. It’s wonderful on its own, as part of a tapas dinner or to grab and go.

It quickly became our favorite. Especially after Spanish class when we were extra hungry.

What is a Spanish Tortilla?

Don’t get thrown by the name. It is nothing like the corn or flour tortillas we all know from south of the border.

Spanish tortilla is also not an omelet, other than that fact that it uses plenty of eggs. Potatoes are really the main element of a “tortilla,” sliced or cubed.

After they’re cooked, they’re bound with the egg and onion and cooked on the stove top in a pan that’s then flipped to cook both sides until golden brown.

As straightforward as that sounds, it was months after our trip before I attempted to make Spanish tortilla at home.

How To Make a Spanish Tortilla

It all starts with the right pan. Nothing fancy, but you want a 10-inch skillet that is non-stick. By that I mean one that you can use reliably for eggs.

I don’t own any non-stick cookware, but I have carbon steel pan that’s well seasoned and perfect for the job.

You’ll also need a dinner plate just larger than the pan’s diameter for flipping. Now, you’re ready! can do the flip. Just use hot pads.>

As I said, the potatoes are central. And there are lots of methods for cooking them. Some shortcuts even use potato chips.

The truth of the matter is that no two Spanish tortillas are identical. This recipe uses a shortcut for cooking the potatoes.

I use a shortcut method that I also use when making home fries: I bake or microwave the potatoes in advance. This cuts the cooking time in half!

After a couple of homemade Spanish tortillas, I wondered why I waited so long to make this superfood. Because it’s made from pantry ingredients, it’s perfect for anytime you’re really hungry.

How to Serve & Store

Once you slip the tortilla from the pan onto a plate, you cut into into wedges. It’s just as good warm, at room temperature or cold. And you can snack on the leftovers stored in the refrigerator for days.

Spaniards love to serve it on a slice of baguette. Or, eat it on a plate with a fork or straight out of your hand when you’re on the run but need something nourishing.

For all of these reasons, Spanish tortilla is a now staple in our house.

What’s for best homemade meal when you’re on the go? Let me know in the comments below or tag a photo #lynnesforage on Instagram or Facebook.

How to Make Spanish Tortilla:

To get started, cook the onion. I use only the white and light green parts of the leek, since the dark green parts are too fibrous.

Saute the leeks in extra virgin olive oil for about 10 minutes, until softened:

I use extra virgin olive oil for the entire recipe instead of refined olive oil. The temperatures don’t get too high while cooking this, and the extra virgin has the best flavor and nutrition.

To prepare the potatoes, peel and shred 2 pounds of russet potatoes and soak in cold water for 2 minutes:

It’s important to soak and rinse the potatoes, otherwise they’ll give the spanish tortilla a gummy texture.

Rinse the potatoes really well, and squeeze dry with your hands.

Remove the leeks to a large mixing bowl. Then return the skillet to the heat and add more olive oil, the grated potatoes, salt, and pepper:

Cook for about 10 minutes, until the potatoes are tender but not quite browned.

Add the cooked potatoes to the leeks, and toss to combine. Then, add 6 whisked eggs:

Stir to combine, then it’s time to cook.

Heat olive oil in an 8″ nonstick skillet, then add the batter to the pan, smoothing out the top with a spatula:

Note: it is really important to use an 8″ nonstick skillet here (affiliate link). It will seem small to the eye, but the ingredients will fit, and this is how you get that dome shape that you can cut into slices later on. Anything larger will be hard to manage.

And, like anything involving eggs, the nonstick part is incredibly important too.

Cook the tortilla española for about 5 minutes, until you see the sides start to set:

Wearing oven mitts (I like these silicone mitts to really protect the hands), put a plate on top of the skillet, and flip it over so the tortilla rests on top. It should be nicely browned:

Then, slide the tortilla back into the same skillet, so you can finish cooking the bottom through:

After another 3-5 minutes, the spanish tortilla should be fully cooked and set, with a nice rounded shape:

I like to let the tortilla cool slightly, then you can slice and serve at room temperature. It is very common to serve it cold as well, but I prefer it warmed up and reheat leftovers in the microwave. Enjoy!

Spanish omelette…diner, lunch or tapas??When is the best time to eat it?

The traditional Spanish omelette is one of the best main courses in Spain, so it´s usually served as a second dish. But what many people don´t know is that this dish is many times used as a tapa too. A small portion of “Tortilla de patatas” shared with other tapas it´s very nice option.

When is the best time to eat it? You can eat it whenever you feel like eating it, no matter if it´s for lunch, for diner or even for breakfast!

Recipe Summary

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion (about 8 oz.), peeled, halved, and thinly sliced crosswise
  • 2 pounds thin-skinned potatoes, peeled and sliced into 1/8-inch-thick rounds
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 5 large eggs

Pour olive oil into a 10- to 12-inch nonstick ovenproof frying pan over medium-high heat when hot, add onion and stir often until limp, about 5 minutes. Add potatoes, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper mix to coat. Add 1/3 cup water and bring to a boil reduce heat to medium, cover, and cook until potatoes are tender when pierced, about 10 minutes. If any liquid remains in pan, boil, uncovered, until evaporated, 1 to 2 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, beat eggs with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper to blend. Add potato mixture and mix gently. Place unwashed frying pan over medium-high heat when hot, pour in egg mixture. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook until eggs begin to set and bottom is lightly browned, 5 to 8 minutes.

Transfer pan to oven and broil tortilla about 6 inches from heat until top is set, 3 to 5 minutes. Run a spatula between tortilla and pan to loosen invert tortilla onto a plate. Cut into wedges and serve warm or at room temperature.

Watch the video: Ισπανική Τορτίγια με Καραμελωμένα Κρεμμύδια. (September 2021).